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Rod Blum

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Rod Blum
Rod Blum.jpg
U.S. House, Iowa, District 1
In office
January 3, 2015 - Present
Term ends
January 3, 2017
Years in position 0
PredecessorBruce Braley (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
First electedNovember 4, 2014
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sLoras College
Master'sUniversity of Dubuque
Place of birthDubuque, Iowa
ProfessionBusiness Owner and Real Estate Developer
ReligionChristian, Episcopal
Office website
Campaign website
Rod Blum campaign logo
Rod Blum is a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Iowa's 1st Congressional District. He defeated Patrick Murphy (D) in the general election on November 4, 2014.[1] He won the nomination in the Republican primary on June 3, 2014.[2]


Blum was born and raised in Dubuque, Iowa. His father served in the United States Navy during World War II, while his mother worked as a house cleaner.[3] Blum graduated from Loras College in 1977 with a degree in finance and went on to earn an MBA from the University of Dubuque in 1989.[4] In 1990, he became the CEO of Eagle Print Software, where he worked until becoming the owner of Digital Canal, another software company, in 2000.[5]

In his spare time, Blum coached high school basketball, served as a board member for the Hoover Presidential Library, trained as a student pilot and wrote a political column in the Dubuque Telegraph Herald.[5][6]

Prior to his congressional career, Blum served as the chair for the Dubuque County GOP from 1995-1997.[5]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Blum's academic, professional and political career:[4]

  • 2015-Present: U.S. Representative from Iowa's 1st Congressional District
  • 1989: Graduated from University of Dubuque with a M.B.A
  • 1977: Graduated from Loras College with a B.A.

Committee assignments

U.S. House


Blum serves on the following committees:[7]


Campaign themes


Blum's website highlighted the following campaign themes:[8]

  • Social Security
Excerpt: "Both Republicans and Democrats have proposed ideas to save the program. Whether it’s slightly increasing the income cap on the Social Security tax, allowing young Americans to opt in to private retirement savings accounts, means-testing benefits for wealthier Americans, or gradually raising the retirement age for people younger than 55, our politicians must come to the table in good faith and work out a bipartisan compromise that preserves Social Security long-term."
  • Economy
Excerpt: "The recent “recovery” is the worst in U.S. history. If our country had the same proportion of persons of working age employed as we did in 2000, we’d have another 14 MILLION Americans working. The current plan of higher taxes, higher debt, higher spending and greater regulations, combined with the coming burden of ObamaCare and declining economic freedom are the main reasons this recovery is so weak. America is ready for a rebirth of economic freedom – let’s take the government burden off the backs of entrepreneurs and working Americans."
  • Debt
Excerpt: "I support the Penny Plan for balancing the *Budget Committee The Penny Plan cuts 1% per year from the budget for the next six years. At the end of the 6th year the budget will be balanced. Congress can determine where the cuts come from or they can decide to cut the budget 1% across the board. This legislation is currently supported by 71 House members, including Steve King from Iowa and 13 Senators including Marco Rubio and Rand Paul."
  • Education
Excerpt: "I believe the current top-down structure of educating America’s youth is failing and it appears the numbers appear to back this up. You don’t have to look far to see that public schools aren’t what they used to be. Prior to the interventionism of the U.S. Department of Education, American learning institutions produced highly sought after professionals. Today, firms in America look to other countries for employees in areas such as technology and engineering."
  • Civil Liberties
Excerpt: "Government misuse of new technologies has eroded our Bill of Rights, and greatly expanded powers for our security agencies allow the government to invade our lives without due process or judicial oversight. Hence, our rights and liberties have deteriorated daily since 9/11."
  • Agriculture
Excerpt: "I support expanding markets for Iowa’s agricultural products and will fight for common sense free trade agreements that open up new markets for Iowa farmers. I also support measures like Fast Track Trade Authority that help expedite the approval process for free trade agreements."
  • Immigration
Excerpt: "I believe immigration reform needs to start with fully securing the US border. We have been told by the federal government that they would secure the border in 1986 and 2006 and both times they failed to do so."
  • Environment
Excerpt: "Nobody wants dirty air or dirty water, despite what you hear from partisan politicians and environmental extremists. And we don’t need Washington bureaucrats at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) telling us that it just makes sense to turn out the lights when you leave a room, recycle what you can, and pick up trash when you see it in public. Those are the kinds of things I teach my children about: taking personal responsibility for the environment."



See also: United States House of Representatives elections in Iowa, 2014

On March 27, 2013, Blum announced that he would enter the 2014 race for U.S. House in the 1st Congressional District of Iowa. Incumbent Rep. Bruce Braley ran for U.S. Senate in 2014, which left the 1st District seat open.[9] He won the nomination in the Republican primary on June 3, 2014.[2] The general election took place November 4, 2014.

U.S. House, Iowa District 1 General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Pat Murphy 48.8% 141,145
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngRod Blum 51.1% 147,762
     Write-in Other 0.1% 399
Total Votes 289,306
Source: Iowa Secretary of State Official Results
U.S. House, Iowa District 1 Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngRod Blum 55% 16,886
Steve Rathje 37.2% 11,420
Gail Boliver 7.9% 2,413
Total Votes 30,719
Source: Iowa Secretary of State


General election
Poll Pat Murphy Rod BlumUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Loras College (September 2-5, 2014)
Polling Co. Inc.
August 11-12, 2014
Myers Research and Strategic Services
July 31-August 4, 2014
AVERAGES 41.87% 36% 22.1% +/-5.13 367
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to

Democratic primary
Poll Pat Murphy Monica VernonSwati DandekarAnesa KajtazovicDave O'BrienUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Loras College
April 8-10, 2014
David Binder Research
February 27-March 2, 2014
Myers Research
February 11-13, 2014
AVERAGES 32% 12.33% 11.67% 11.67% 7.67% 11.33% +/-5.15 366.67
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to

Republican primary
Poll Rod Blum Steve RathjeGail BoliverUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Loras College
April 10-11, 2014
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to


See also: Iowa's 1st Congressional District elections, 2012

Blum ran in the 2012 election for the U.S. House to represent Iowa's 1st District. Blum sought the nomination on the Republican ticket.[10] Bruce Braley ran unopposed in the Democratic primary. Blum was defeated by Ben Lange in the Republican primary.[11] Candidates wishing to run were required to file by the signature filing deadline of March 16, 2012. The primary elections took place on June 5, 2012.[12]

U.S. House, Iowa, District 1 Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngBen Lange 53.4% 13,217
Rod Blum 46.6% 11,551
Total Votes 24,768

Campaign donors


Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Blum's reports.[13]


Blum is married to his wife, Karen, and is a father to Trevor, Taylor, Tanner and Sophie, a stepfather to Autumn and a surrogate father to Malcolm, a former basketball player of Blum's from Chicago.[20]

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  1. Politico, "House Elections Results," accessed November 11, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 Associated Press, "Election Results," accessed June 3, 2014
  3. Blum for Congress, "About Rod," accessed Febraury 3, 2015
  4. 4.0 4.1 Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, "Rod Blum," accessed January 26, 2015
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Des Moines Register, "Meet the Candidate: Iowa U.S. House 1st District: Rod Blum, Republican," October 8, 2014
  6. The Hill, "New Members Guide 2015 -- Rep.-elect Rod Blum (R-Iowa-01)," accessed February 6, 2015
  7. U.S. House of Representatives, Office of the Clerk, "Committee Information," accessed February 18, 2015
  8. Rod Blum for Congress, "Issues," accessed February 3, 2015
  9. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named blum
  10. Des Moines Register, "Dubuque businessman to challenge Braley," accessed December 16, 2011
  11. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named elections
  12. Iowa Secretary of State, "2012 primary results"
  13. Federal Election Commission, "Rod Blum 2014 Summary reports," accessed November 6, 2013
  14. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly" accessed July 30, 2013
  15. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed November 6, 2013
  16. Federal Election Commission, "Year End Report," accessed March 3, 2014
  17. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed May 12, 2014
  18. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly," accessed October 23, 2014
  19. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed October 23, 2014
  20. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named bio
Political offices
Preceded by
Bruce Braley (D)
Iowa's 1st Congressional District
Succeeded by